Contact lenses are considered to be the premium solution for people who have weak eyesight and have to wear glasses. While getting used to them can be a bit of a challenge for many but they do provide a better viewing angle for those who have higher eye power. Now, what if you were told that there is a robotic contact lens which can zoom in or zoom out by blinking the eyes, will you be willing to give it a try?
Researchers in the University of California San Diego have developed a prototype of a contact lens which can automatically switch between focusing on near or far off objects by detecting the eye movement of the person who is wearing it. Presently, it is just a prototype and it may take some years before an actual lens can be developed and worn by the human eye.
The research which is titled “A Biomimetic Soft Lens Controlled by Electrooculographic Signal” states that the prototype lens can mimic how the natural lens which is present inside the human eye works. Instead of organic tissue, this lens is made up of electroactive polymer ﬁlms. In this prototype, wires deliver electricity from an external source that causes the layers of the lens to either expand or contract. In both ways, the focal point of the light which is passing through the prototype contact lens gets altered and defines what in the front of the lens appears in the focus.
The researchers in the report have stated that “The motion and deformation of the soft lens are achieved by the actuation of different areas of dielectric elastomer ﬁlms, mimicking the working mecha-nisms of the eyes of human and most mammals,”.
The system which has been developed in the current study has the potential to be used in visual prostheses, adjustable glasses, and remotely operated robotics in the future, the research said.
Clearly, there needs to be a lot of refinement in this prototype before humans can consider switching to a contact lens which can have such a functionality. However, it definitely seems to be a step in that direction.
To recall, in 2014 Google had started working on a smart contact lens that would measure glucose levels in diabetics by analysing the tears of the wearer. However, in November 2018, it had announced that the project was discontinued.